March 9, 2023

lip filler techniques

Fashions regularly change and it is no different for beauty, aesthetics, and lip fillers; this year (as predicted by Dr Tim) is the year of filler reversals and the desire for a ‘natural’ look from lip augmentation, gone are the oversized pouts, with celebrities like Molly Mae Hague driving the trend as they reportedly have their lip filler dissolved.

In this blog, Dr Tim Pearce shares his tips for creating a natural lip filler result for your patients, plus what to do if a patient with overfilled lips comes to you wanting them dissolved and refilled to achieve a more ‘natural’ look.

If you are unsure where to start with elective filler reversal treatment – how to effectively discuss it with your patients, carry out the procedure, including how much hyaluronidase to use, and when you can re-treat the lips, or if you are worried about whether you can legally correct someone else’s work, then sign up for Dr Tim Pearce’s elective lip reversal eLearning online course. It includes 15 in-depth learning modules and 5 bonus FAQ videos covering all the core knowledge and skills you will need to embark on elective lip filler reversal.

Going natural with lip filler is now in fashion

Have you been paying attention to the latest trend for reversing lip filler and going for a more natural look? As aesthetic injectors, we need to know what it means in the consultation when patients are asking specifically for a natural look, especially when they are part of the demographic of younger women who usually want to stand out and appear ‘treated’.

Let’s think about what is at the heart of this trend – Dr Tim believes there are two protagonists – fashion and the clinical aspect of the changing nature of dermal filler products over time.

If someone is in a crowd of people where everyone has their lips ‘done’, it is a bit of a statement to have them ‘undone’ and to go for something more natural because then they are the one who stands out from the crowd. This is human psychology and the need to differentiate as a survival instinct.

Add to this the nature of lip filler. Over time, Dr Tim believes that a lot of lip filler treatments will need reversing, because if you continually repeating treatments, you lose definition. The catch-22 situation then becomes apparent because you try to reclaim the definition by retreating but you end up with overfilled lips that then require dissolution.

These two have now combined to manifest a cohort of patients who need filler reversal, to start again afresh, to look more beautiful and natural, as opposed to looking wildly different or standing out from the crowd. All hail the natural look. However, this does not mean no lip filler. After reversal of the overfill, these patients still want a little lip filler, just to a more normal level – to the trained eye, it is a lip filler result, but to the untrained eye they look how they probably should have looked all along, i.e., with naturally nice-looking lips.

What are hydrating lip treatments?

thin lips treatmentOne of terms you may hear is patients asking for ‘hydrating lips’ or a hydration-type lip treatment, and (thanks to various marketing that is prolific in the aesthetic sector) they may not believe this to be a dermal filler lip treatment.

Most hydrating treatments are injectable lip procedures, just the same, but are performed with filler products that have a lower G Prime, hence, they are less about shape, with an appropriately small amount of volume added. The result is gentler, without the same degree of shape or definition change as you would commonly see with a lip augmentation procedure, the patient’s lips simply appear better hydrated, but it still looks like there is filler within the lips.

As Dr Tim notes that this is a ‘communication innovation’, or a clever bit of marketing – if you take the same thing and describe it in a different way, it makes sense to people on a different level.

What do patients who seek natural lips REALLY want?

When a patient says they want natural lips, there is more to it that you need to unpack in the consultation, says Dr Tim. It is well worth spending the time getting them to articulate what it is that they are seeing in their own mind. It can be difficult to convey with words alone, thus assistance can be sought from pictures of celebrities, a gallery of before and after photographs, or images of themselves from the past. You can also ask them to describe what they are hoping to see using their own face, lips, and the aid of a mirror. Allow them to say what they want, out loud, and then use the information to shape their expectations, reflect their desires back to them, detail what you can achieve, and how you can do it.

Every now and then, you will find a patient who is picturing something that is not attainable, or despite using the word natural, they are asking for changes in the shape, projection, or proportion that you may not always associate with a wholly natural look. It is vital that you do not get hung up on the word ‘natural’, have them explain exactly what they are picturing and design a treatment plan around the details.

Similarly, there is a cohort of patients who are afraid of having their lips treated, yet really want them treated. Those patients often want something ‘more’ but start their journey with a subtle treatment and result that even their best friend may not notice. This way, they get a feeling for the treatment experience and can decide later if they want to be a little bit more adventurous. This cohort will present to you using the term ‘natural’, often as a code word for ‘I’m really scared of getting a bad result’, but when you dig deeper, you discover they want a more projected top lip, and you can design a treatment appropriately.

Read more on how to consult patients for elective lip filler reversal and the indications for elective lip filler reversal.

How to create a natural look for lip fillers

If your patient is anxious about treatment and really does just want a very subtle, hydrating treatment, with limited volume and shape, added fullness and line softening, then there are ways to achieve that look.

  • Use a lower G Prime filler product, these are much softer and are not designed for holding their shape or defining the lips like higher G Prime options usually used for lips.
  • Use a cannula instead of a needle, as you are not trying to create shape and detail, the cannula may lend itself better to adding the volume or ‘hydration’ to the lips.
  • Use less product. When creating a more subtle result, we typically will use 0.3-0.5mls, or less, to create a difference that the patient knows is real, but others will not spot. When in doubt, put less in so that you can put more in later. As you inject, ask them to validate each small addition. Over time, they may increase in confidence and seek more, and it is your job as an aesthetic clinician to guide that process.

How to avoid the overfilled look

Such patients will be overly attuned to the fear of being overfilled. The most common mistake made by clinicians is not emphasising enough the swelling process post lip filler treatment. Swelling, especially on someone who is afraid of being over treated, can launch them into a state of anxiety, changing the perception of their ‘natural’ treatment because they suddenly looked over treated. Swelling (and redness) in the first 24 hours is going to change what they see and may make them think they have got the wrong result. It is vital that before you inject you reassure them about the expected swelling, that will ultimately settle.

When a patient has been handled delicately, treated gently, with a small amount of volume, they should build trust with you and become a patient for life – that is the goal!

One of the biggest trends of 2022 and into 2023 is the number of lip filler reversals or elective dissolving procedures performed by aesthetic clinicians, confirms Dr Tim Pearce. Read more on dissolving lip filler and what you need to know about hyaluronidase.

Dr Tim always loves to hear from his followers, so why not drop him a comment on social media? You can find Dr Tim Pearce on Instagram.

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8D Lip Design

With all the conflicting advice out there about lip filler treatments – vertical or horizontal? needle or cannula? – it can be difficult to know how to inject to create the lips your patient desires.

If you are suffering from technique overwhelm, worrying about causing a vascular occlusion (VO), or panicking about injecting thin lips, then Dr Tim Pearce’s brand-new ultimate lip course is going to teach you the different techniques, anatomy, and skills you need to create medically beautiful lips.


Aesthetics Mastery Show

As fashion moves towards a more ‘natural’ look for lips, there are increasing reports of celebrities having their lip filler dissolved. In this video, Dr Tim shares tips for how to create a natural lip filler result for your patients, and what to do if a patient with overfilled lips wants them dissolved and redone for a more ‘natural’ look.


The show has had over 6,000 views and over 20 comments in just 1 week, including:

Swierp Life said:

“I am new to injecting and I love the advice you give! Everyone says lip filler is so painful, so I’m glad I was born with naturally full lips “

Adele Brindley added:

Absolutely excellent Tim as always❤ A beautifully, balanced and unbiased narrative of a trusted and valued clinician❤💙🧚🏼‍♂🤍💯

Read more and join in the debate on our YouTube channel.

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Dr Tim Pearce eLearning

Dr Tim Pearce MBChB BSc (Hons) MRCGP founded his eLearning concept in 2016 in order to provide readily accessible BOTOX® and dermal filler online courses for fellow Medical Aesthetics practitioners. His objective was to raise standards within the industry – a principle which remains just as relevant today.

Our exclusive video-led courses are designed to build confidence, knowledge and technique at every stage, working from foundation level to advanced treatments and management of complications.

Thousands of delegates have benefited from the courses and we’re highly rated on Trustpilot. For more information or to discuss which course is right for you, please get in touch with our friendly team.

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